Reliance Controls 31410CRK Pro-Tran Transfer Switch Kit Review

Reliance Controls 31410CRK Transfer Switch Kit

Reliance Controls 31410CRK Transfer Switch Kit

Reliance Controls 31410CRK Pro/Tran Transfer Switch Kit comes with a 10 circuit Transfer Switch, 10-Foot Power Cord, And Power Inlet Box For use with portable/standby generators up to 7,500-Watts

General Description

The Reliance Controls 31410CRK Pro/Tran is a 10-circuit 30 Amp transfer switch; hardwired to inlet box.

The kit includes everything needed to install a transfer switch installation in a residence, garage, office or other dwelling.

It is pre-wired to save labor in additional wire pulls and termination in the switch and let’s one focus on the main panel connections.

Use this transfer switch for generators with NEMA L14-20 (up to 5000W) or L14-30 power outlets (up to 7500W).

 The configuration allows for 240V – 30 Amp service = 7200W (configured as two 120V 30 amp circuits).

Although billed at 7500W (rated 250V) most generators will not allow the full 7500W which is restricted by the circuit breakers for each of the two supplied 120V hot lines.

One of the big misconceptions of 8000W or 10000W generators is that folks think they supply the max rating to only one outlet.

NEMA L14 Receptacles

NEMA L14 Receptacles

This is simply not the case unless it has full amp capability which will be greater than a 30 amp circuit. That total is often shared amount several outlets on the generator.

The only way to be sure of your max output is to look at the wiring diagram and see the size of circuit breaker used for each of the individual circuits. 30 amps will allow 7200W at 120V. Expect 110V ratings at the appliances and you have 6600W.

With many generators your maximum output will be 6000W to 7200W, which will relate to a 25 or 30 amp circuit breaker typically supplied with many outlet configurations. 

The 10 circuit configuration is often recommended even if you only need only a few base circuits. You’ll be able to manage circuits and power needs without ever having to worry about running extension cords to areas which are not used often, but still may need occasional power.

Detailed Configuration

Transfer Switch Installation

Transfer Switch Installation

This Reliance Controls 31410CRK Pro/Tran Transfer Switch kit comes configured with:

  1. 10- Circuit transfer switch panel configured as a surface mount with 6 – 15amp circuits and 4 – 20 amp circuits.* Each circuit is marked with a “Letter”. Note that the label for I and H look similar. Just rotated 90 degrees. A flush mount kit is also available if you prefer a clean wall installation.
  2. Prewired with pigtail for connection at about 18 inches from panel box. Shortening distance is not a problem however for longer lengths you’ll need to add a junction box and additional wiring. Or alternately, as some have experience, re-plumb other utilities to make it work.
  3. Initially configured with the with a tie bar on the bottom two sets of circuits for use with 240V dryer or stove providing 8 usable circuits. Removing these ties allows 10 single circuits. Any two adjacent circuits can be tied. **
  4. Two watt meters so you can monitor your watt usage per each side to monitor power usage per input side. (In an L14 input two 120V circuits are supplied one to each side of the panel.
  5. L14- 30 R outdoor power cord inlet box, which provides the two power circuits to the switch from the plug connected to your generator.
  6. 30 Amp 10-foot generator power cord with L14-30 ends (note be sure you can position your generator with in a 10 foot arc of the inlet box or you may need to get a longer 30 amp cord.)
  7. an extra L14-20 cord end to connect to a L14-20 amp outlet (Remove 30 amp cord and wire in new cord end)
  8. 4 red wire connectors and 10 yellow wire connectors,
  9. a demonstrative DVD and
  10. a printed installation and operating instructions manual.

* Take into consideration the circuits you will be tying into in your main panel, if they are 20 amp you should tie the 20 amp breakers. If they are 15 amp you cannot rely on the main panel breaker as you are bypassing it; you can swap out the 20 amps breakers with 15 amp breakers and Reliance has worked with others in the past to do just that.

** Note: The bottom four breakers in this transfer switch are linked side by side via metal ties (When you flip one of these linked breakers to the “Gen” position, you are actually turning on two breakers at once, one on each side of the transfer switch). These are for circuits in your home that may require 240v service, such as some electric stoves or clothes dryers. If you do not have a need for 240v service, you can simply remove these metal ties and use the breakers individually.

Certification and Warranty

Reliance Controls 31410CRK Transfer Switch Unit is UL/cUL1008 listed.

The switches and accessories have a 5-year warranty, which is stated on store and brochure listings. 

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What’s NOT Included That I Will Need For Installation:

You will need a length of 10 gauge building wire (4 wires total including ground wire) long enough to run from your remote inlet box location to your transfer switch, and possibly conduit to run the building wire through (depending on your local code)

Be sure to measure and allow for making this connection. Pre-measuring the distances will make this go faster and easier.

Connecting to your Panel Box (Load Balancing)

Since each side of the panel uses a separate circuit, you should work to load balance the panel. That is if you have four primary circuits then wire two to each side. The others can be wired based on alternating use or minimal use. This provides a way for the generator to produce current equally on the generation circuits and maintain voltage. Those circuits are often controlled through one voltage regulator.

It will likely take you some time to map out your circuits and figure which ones to connect. Once you have this done take the advice of one user that covered the map in plastic and hung it next to the transfer switch so that there is never a question as to how things are connected. 

Additionally if you have this professionally wired you’ll want to map out your circuits to save yourself time and expense when the electrician arrives.

Some folks write out instructions so that anyone could activate and operate the setup. They also utilized a tape printing machine and added labels showing which circuit each circuit breaker connected. Very smart move!

Simple loading is to distribute load to each side of the switch (5 on left-5 on right) with approx. the same load AMPS x VOLTS = watts. With a total of over 10kW capable on each side you’ll be restricted to one 25 to 30 amp circuit from your generator for each side.

Each side will be capable of using 3000W to 3600W, so look at your likely continuous loads and circuits and split them as equally as possible. At normal half load that would be about 1800W each circuit. Do remember that if you’re connecting 240V circuits that you are drawing half the load from each side of the circuit.

The installation manual provides an excellent explanation on planning load balancing. See our general post at Selecting Transfer Switches for Home Generators for further details.

In Power Management you can use the watt meters to see how your balance shows up. Of course you can go around the house to experiment with various appliances and electronics to see how your loads are pulling power. If needed you could take notes of how which circuits affect your generator and rewire at a later date to provide a better load balance.

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Installation Notes:

The Reliance Controls 31410CRK Pro/Tran Transfer Switch Kit installation manual is very good and repeated comments by users indicate that it is easy to follow and understand. Also the videos at Reliance’s website are excellent. That speaks well to their understanding of the non-commercial market of residential users.

The Top recommendation is planning, which means mapping circuits, do it early. Total installation time for everything seems to run about 3 to 4 hours.

Location considerations:

The pigtail is an armored conduit that requires the transfer box to be within 18 inches of the main panel. It is setup to use a knock out hole in the bottom or back of the panel and attach with a lock nut. If you need to have a shorter distance then the conduit will either have to be looped out or down and back to get it to fit.

Alternately you can unravel the metal at one end and with a little back and forth fatigue it to break so you can remove part of it.   Of course the unit can be mounted to either the right or left of the panel and prefect horizontal lines are not necessary. Be sure to fit it physically before wiring.

Wiring

The 10 prewired circuits (20 wires) are connected to your chosen circuits. That is the utility power will be routed through the main breaker, diverted to the transfer switch and then returned to the main house wiring.

This allows the transfer switch to break the main power and provide backup power to the house circuit while protecting power feed back into the utility line; known as break before make transfer. This type of manual switch maintains the power from the utility or from the backup generation until it is manually transferred.

Wires are stranded copper and easy to route and connect. However, some folks do prefer the hard core for easier insertion into breakers. Although the wires are well labeled, several customers had noted that the “I” looked like a sideways “H”. Pairing the wiring with small tie wraps is one of the best suggestions made for keeping things clean.

Wiring into the panel may not be as easy as the conditions shown in the how to video. You will likely encounter varying conditions of congestion or tight wire spaces. Be persistent and work it through.

The generator power comes through the inlet box plug. This requires a 3 wire configuration minimum but the 4 wire which contains the extra ground wire for protection is recommended. The wire from the inlet to transfer box should be enclosed in conduit for protection and usually required by many code authorities, but not always.

Breaker matching

Should you use a 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp main panel breaker then the line will now be controlled by the 15 amp breaker only when the backup power (GEN) is switched. That will only allow you to draw a total of 15 amps on that house circuit, although when using LINE it will still have the full 20 amps.

Installation Manual

Reliance’s Installation Manual goes into very good detail on how to install your kit, by following the instructions any good handyman could install this kit. But be sure to check with your code official as they may want to make an inspection or require a certified electrician to perform or check the installation.

One thing missing for the retentive of us is the testing instructions for installation. Although with a little patience in using an ohm meter you could check that the circuits are correctly connected by testing the main panel to the rewire and generator to house to ensure you haven’t crossed the wires.

Flush Mounting

Working with a flush mounted panel like the Reliance Controls KF10 Transfer Switch Flush Mount Kit for 8 and 10 Circuit Modelcan also create a problem with access to get wiring hooked up. Plan on taking some time to consider removing drywall or siding to install your unit.

Safety:

When installing (specifically wiring) you will need to turn off the main panel power. If it is not within your visual sight you may want to lock it to ensure no one reconnects power while you are wiring your transfer switch.

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Using the Transfer Switch

It’s really straight forward to use the breaker switches. You manually switch from Line through off to Generator.

In describing the process one customer indicated that the switches are easy to throw from one position to another and actually feel like they are going directly from LINE to GEN as it jumps past the off position.

Since off is not often used the switch was apparently made to make the most common transition happen. With a little subtle throw you can get it to the off position when needed for any specific need.

Another customer noted that the switches can be easily bumped and thrown; so locating your box out of any other commonly accessed items such as a spare fridge or freezer needs to be considered. Of course a recessed panel box with cover would also eliminate that problem.

Although you can throw all the switches quickly, it is best to throw one at a time so that your generator can adjust to increased load easily. This only requires a few seconds between each switch throw as the starting loads level. Simply watch the watt meter it will jump if a starting load is present and then settle to one position. Let that happen as you add each circuit.

Testing

You can safely perform generator testing when utility power is still on. The switches are break before make allowing for change of power source without the risk of line power feeding back to the generator or vice a versa, albeit everything has been wired correctly.

Individual circuits can be switched to ensure generator power supply is working before a power outage occurs.

PROs CONS

Pros

  • Well build
  • Easy install
  • Pre-wired
  • Complete kit except for extra wire needed for inlet box
  • Easy switch usage
  • Can be wall mounted or use a flush mount kit

Cons

  • Pigtail is short and makes wiring at distances over 18 inches away an additional effort
  • Switches could be considered a little to sensitive (very subjective)
  • Using the center punch out makes it difficult to store wires after wire nuts are attached. (use bottom punch out closest to right side)

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Customer Service Experiences

Amazon is a great place to determine user acceptance. As of this writing the switch gets 4.8 out of 5 stars with close to 150 customer reviews.

Generally speaking the comments indicate that the folks at Reliance are very helpful. The overall consensus is that the unit is solid and heavy duty.

Installation was generally very easy but took most buyers 3 to 4 hours, start to finish. It seemed that it took longer to run the cable to the outside connector plug/inlet box than anything else. Funny we thought it would have been the actual panel wiring.

More than a few times advice was to watch the installation videos, know what you have to accomplish, and work out a plan and you’ll be very satisfied with the end result.

Price

An online purchase as a complete pre-wired unit this 10 circuit transfer switch will run you under $400, saving upwards of25% over retail outlets.

Summary

Reliance Controls 31410CRK Pro/Tran Transfer Switch Kit is a solid built and made to last. The kit configuration provides the necessary pre-wired switch, inlet box and instructions to get this unit installed with relative ease.  You’ll need to get an additional wire and conduit to route to the inlet box.

There are a number of considerations when getting it installed and none are difficult to overcome. The high rating and great feedback from existing customers is testimony to the quality products that Reliance puts on the market.

If you experience power outages on a regular basis or need to wire up a cabin where power is difficult to obtain then you should consider this transfer switch or one of the other options supplied by Reliance Controls. 

Other RC Transfer Switches

 Reliance Controls 31406CRK Pro/Tran 6-Circuit 30 Amp Generator Transfer Switch Kit With Transfer Switch, 10-Foot Power Cord, And Power Inlet Box For Up To 7,500-Watt Generators

Reliance Controls 30408B Pro/Tran Transfer Switch 8 circuits

Reliance Controls Q310A 10-Ciruit Transfer Switch, 125/250-Volt

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